A very nice lady emailed me, asking about the value of the Beatles autographs that she's had since 1964, and how best to go about selling them.

A friend of her father's was the Beatle's chauffeur during their first US concert on Feb. 11, 1964 in Washington, DC. He got a few sets signed for the kids of friends, and that's how the lucky lady got this one.

They're in pencil on a blank index card. She tacked them to her bulletin board a few times, but she was careful to avoid the autographs. Those are pencil marks touching the R of Ringo and S of Harrison, not holes.

I braced myself when she contacted me, hoping against hope that I wouldn't have to tell her that they were signed by Neil Aspinall, like all but a few sets from similar situations. Seeing that they were real made my day.

Here...I'll let the owner tell you about them in her own words:

"I was doing an online search for authentication of Beatles autographs and came across your article. I have an original autograph that was given to me in 1964 when the Beatles gave their first US concert in Washington DC. My father's friend was a chauffeur-taxi driver and he drove them around the Washington area. He had several small cards index size and had them autographed for his friends teenage kids (like me). It is autographed in pencil."

When I told her that I was happy to tell her that they were real, she said:

"I knew the autograph was real because of the circumstances related to my receiving it. There has been a long standing joke in my family that I kept the autograph hidden in a box. The favorite question was how is the Beatles autograph doing?  LOL  I have always kept it in a plastic bag but it probably should have been protected better. I can't believe it took me 50 years to do this."

Regarding the pinholes:

"The mark on the R is not a pinhole. It appears to be from the pencil that he used to sign it. Same with the mark on the S in Harrison. There are 7 pinholes, 3 above the nno in Lennon, 1 below the second n in Lennon, 2 below the ne in McCartney and one on the far bottom right side. Attached is a scan of the back of the card which makes it easier to distinguish the pinholes."

What do you think the set is worth? How do think the owner should consider selling it? She was planning to take it to a TPA but I suggested she may not need to—so if it looks naked without a sticker on in the front you can blame me.

Tags: 1964 Beatles Autographs, February 11, 1964, first US concert, washington DC

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the pencil and pin holes will lower the value, although the signatures overall are very nice.  I would guess value would be 5000-5500.

not as much pinholes but defiantly pencil will lower value

A nicely spaced out set of autographs with provenance. Frank sold a nice pencil set for 6500. Pin holes are better than tape marks as they are not too distracting. They should fetch a reasonable price.

These are LARGE images. Click on them for closeups. 

They certainly look real to me. They also appear like they were signed "in hand" while driving around the back of a car ! Pinholes wouldn't bother me - can they be repaired ? Also, what size is the index card ? That may help to determine price. Lastly, the "P" in Paul appears to be "traced over" - anyone else see that ? Overall, very nice set.

Look at the image full-size and you'll see that the doubling on the P of Paul is from the pencil tip.

Yes, pinholes can be repaired, but you'll want to tell the person you're selling it to that they have been. A lot of collectors are purists and think that nothing should ever be repaired but those pinholes don't touch the autographs and repairing them—minimizing their appearance—is pretty easy for a paper restoration expert. If it was my set I'd probably have them repaired.

You know, now that I look at it and think about it, I wouldn't have the pinholes repaired. You can just picture the excited teenage girl admiring them every day and feeling the connection they gave her to the boys.

Now that you mention it...it might be kinda cool to display it “bulletin board” style by putting old fashioned 60’s pins, vintage Beatle pictures and other “Beatle picture lapel pins” around it. Could make for a very cool looking display !  I’m sold...keep the pin holes !!!

I wouldn't restore them they are period correct leave them alone

Nice set...The fact that it was signed on the day of their first concert in the US on Feb.11, 1964 put a nice premium on in.Mat it with a nice pic of the band from that night and you could get at least $7,000. I like it!!!

Impossible to give an value without knowing the SIZE OF THE INDEX CARD.  A 4x6" card would be worth more than a 3x5" 

I'll check but it has the proportions of a 3x5. Actually, don't recall 4x6 index cards being commonly available back then. 

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